Raising Awareness and Funds to Support Special Needs

Star Flower Student Does Face Painting

Star Flower student, Nyi Nyi Zaw, was the master artist at the face painting station.

The Star Flower Centre is located in Mae Sot, Thailand and is the only Centre along the Thailand-Myanmar (Burma) border that provides an education for migrant children with special needs.  Many of the Burmese migrant population living along the border face social and economic hardships.  This is particularly true for migrant children with special needs because there is a greater danger of them being taken advantage of or rejected by the community. The Star Flower Centre is a place that sees all children having unique abilities and potential to do great things if provided with a nurturing and supportive environment.

With Star Flower facing a budget shortfall in 2015, World Education, Burmese Migrant Workers Education Committee (BMWEC) and the Star Flower teachers worked together to plan some incredible fundraising activities to secure the Centre’s funding.  One event managed to raise awareness, money and the self-esteem of several Star Flower students. The team hosted a booth at the local Saturday market in Mae Sot for a fun day of face painting, snow cones, and snacks. Ten students and their parents helped with the efforts.  Many of the kids helped by handing out snow cones, collecting money and showcasing the beautiful bracelets they had made for the fundraiser. One of the students, Nyi Nyi Zaw, even took on the role as the master artist at the face painting station.  Nyi Nyi Zaw is deaf and is learning sign language through the Star Flower Centre.  At the fundraiser, people were able to communicate to him what they wanted painted and he would happily comply with their requests.

Star Flower sells jewelry at market

Star Flower sold jewelry made by the students.

The market day was a great success as it took in 3500 Thai Baht (over $100 USD), more than the Centre had ever raised at a local fundraiser. But more importantly than raising money, the process made the children feel included and capable of using life skills that they learn at the Centre. Everyone who attended the market day gave such positive feedback that staff and students now feel encouraged to continue to share their work and talents.  Over a 3-month period, the Centre has raised over $14,000 USD through combined fundraising efforts. If you would like to support the cause, check out the fundraising page at: https://www.crowdrise.com/starflowercentre.

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